There’s no other way to say it: the Rays absolutely demolished the New York Yankees, doing more than their part in support of Team Chaos. It was a 12-2 game that wasn’t even that close. There were five homers, including three from Brandon Lowe. There was good pitching and good defense. The put the Ray’s win total at 100, and made the Yankees grasp on the wild card even more precarious.
Shane Baz got the start, facing off against lefty Jordan Montgomery. The lineup was a little wonky, with Mejía getting the start at first base.
The Rays broke out on top in the top of the first. A walk to Randy and an 0-2 single by Wander set an enticing table. A pop out by Cruz and a liner left from Diaz that required a sensational catch by Joey Gallo put the inning in peril. But Brandon Lowe short porched an 0-1 sinker to make it 3-0.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Anthony Rizzo hit a 3-2 fastball out to right. He also walked Judge on four pitches in a very un-Bazian 30 pitch/16 strike innings.
The Rays extended their lead in the third. After a single by Franco and a walk to Diaz, Brandon Lowe squeezed one over the wall in right.
Zunino followed by ripping a 1-2 fastball out to left.
Baz got the hook in the third inning after walking Rizzo. His line: 2.2 innings, 1 ER, 1 hit, 4 Ks, 2 BBs. It was definitely his worst outing in the Majors, but he still did things like this:
There's a reason he's called the Wizard of Baz https://t.co/iXuA4opwGj— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 2, 2021
J.P. Feyereisen got Judge fly out to the wall in right, as Randy did a maybe unnecessary bunny hop to make the catch, ending the threat.
The Yankees got back in the board in the fourth, when a Gallo soft infield single was followed by a triple into the rightfield corner by Urshela. 7-2. But the Yankees were unable to add on as Feyereisen induced a couple of infield pops.
Luis Patiño got the fifth and was fine. Rizzo reached on an error by Lowe, but Yandy Diaz picked up his teammate with this nifty play to end the frame.
Yandy judged this bounce perfectly pic.twitter.com/APGtEkDazM— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 2, 2021
Patiño went back out for the bottom of the sixth and worked a clean frame, including a couple Ks of Stanton and Urshela.
The Rays scored again in their half of sixth. With two outs, Randy Arozarena singled to center. He then swiped both second and third (his 18th and 19th of the year) before scoring on a soft liner to left by Wander Franco.
If the game wasn’t already broken open, the Rays finished the job in the seventh. The Rays It started when Brandon Lowe went down and got a Michael King curveball and hit his third bomb of the day into the rightfield seats.
Wander Franco is Susan Sarandon.
A couple singles to right from Zunino and Margot chased King. Joely Rodriguez got the call next, and got ahead of Meadows 0-2. Then then threw a pitch that was way to good on an 0-2 count, and Meadows ripped it beyond the wall in right center.
In the seventh, Wisler made his second appearance since coming back from a finger injury. He worked a scoreless frame and, more importantly, looked good doing it, striking out two and walking one.
Chris Mazza got the last two innings and looked sharp as well. He gave up a single to Judge and allowed Try Hard Gardner to reach on strikeout-wild pitch. But he also struck out three and dialed up a double play grounder to end the game.
Your Three Stars of the Game
- Brandon Lowe - the Dawg’s three run, left-on-left homer in the first, coming when it looked like the Yankees were going to get out of it, was a tone setter.
- Brandon Lowe - his wall scraper of a homer in the third effectively put the game away,
- Brandon Lowe - because, holy cow, what a day.